“We are young. Wandering the face of the earth, wondering what our dreams might be worth…learning that we’re only immortal for a limited time.” – Neil Peart “Dreamline”.
At some point, everything had a beginning. At some point, everything will end.
For us humans, the time span between the two is a lot smaller than it is for the rest of the universe. With such a small amount of time, what we do between our beginning and end is solely ours for the making and the taking.
Watch any news program, read any newspaper or news magazine, and we are hit with a barrage of hate, war, poverty, hunger, and indifference. Unfortunately, this has been the case throughout human history…we just have more outlets to see it. We, the humans, perhaps have not done the best job, in a general sense, of making the most out of the space between our beginning and our inevitable end. But, we try.
We all try to make the most out of our little space between our bookends. And, individually, we do a pretty decent job. We grow, laugh, love, teach, care, and try to squeeze the most out of this limited time we have.
The other morning, I took a drive out to a rural part of Southwest Louisiana, about 5 miles or so from the Lake Charles Regional Airport. My goal was to shoot the sunrise, but I was leery of my chances because I didn’t like the way the sky looked. Nonetheless, I ventured out. About a half mile down a dirt road, I stopped the car, grabbed my camera, and started glancing around for a shot to be handed to me. The sun was still about 20 minutes from peeking over the horizon. I was a little aggravated because I had woken up early, I was cold, I was hungry, and started asking myself, “dude, go home and go back to bed!!” I was not making the most of “between the bookends”.
Well, I stayed. Instead of glancing, I decided to take a deep breath and LOOK. I began to notice (in my hurried, aggravated mind) the plain sky begin to breathe. It became a living, breathing entity to me. All it took was for me to act and adjust my way of thinking and do-ing in that moment.
The sky exhaled a palate of color, and the land began to glow. A gentle fog hugged the ground and provided a beautiful, etherial canvas.
In a previous post, I talked about “slowing down”…taking time to appreciate the small things. It truly makes the big things much sweeter. And that’s what we should do, enjoy ALL of life’s sweetness in our “between”.
Making the most of the “between” has produced some of the world’s greatest art in history, best music, best photographs, best literature, but most importantly, the best memories…in each of us and about all of us.
What would happen if we all “upped our game”, as the kids say, and not only slow down and enjoyed the sweetness of life…but looked, listened, loved, gave, and taught just a little more? Could it be that, if we all did, the human race’s “between” might…just might…put the news business out of business? I know that’s a VERY lofty, idealistic thing to say. But hey, remember, it’s the small things that make the big things great!!!
Recently, I’ve noticed a change. I’ve seen countless friends on social media and in “real life” talk about random instances of kindness, love, compassion, and “paying it forward”. Little things, in our own “between”. As those start adding up, I see BIG things on the horizon!!!
Enjoy a sunrise. Bask in the thirty minutes before and after a sunset. Read one of the great works of literature. Listen to a great album. Do it all…and pay your experiences forward. The reward will be a “between” full of life, instead of mere existence.
Yes, I’m an idealist. But, I believe we ALL are, in one way or another. And squeezing all we can out of life, and at the same time love, give, teach, hope, and dream just a little more, can bring us all together under the same sun that has risen and fallen for eons…as we travel our roads until we reach the other bookend.
Ps…A few moments ago, I was listening to Elvis Costello and the track “(What’s so funny about) Peace, Love, and Understanding” came on. Couldn’t help but smile.
“And as I walked on, Through troubled times, My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes. So where are the strong and who are the trusted? And where is the harmony? Sweet harmony.
’cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me want to cry. What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?” – E. Costello
Elvis is the King.